It is unfortunate that Ethan Saylor lost his life in a preventable situation. With that said, I for one am tired of hearing all the theories of who is to blame, especially the security officers (who happened to be off-duty deputies). According to The Frederick News-Post, all witnesses conveyed that security did not act inappropriately or mistreat him in any way.

Some people tried to blame the movie theatre staff, saying they could have let him stay for free. These are mostly young adults doing what they are told and afraid to lose their jobs. Patti Saylor blames Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, again misplaced.

I would suggest Patti go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and face the blame. What was she doing that night so important she could not accompany Ethan to the movie? I know we all need time alone, however, she should have known better to send him out in public with someone ill-equipped to handle him. If she couldn’t go, keep him home in his comfort zone or send him with someone properly trained. According to The News-Post, she directed his care provider to leave him alone in the theater, another mistake for which she is to blame. Her poor choices are to blame and she should accept responsibility.

Then we have Karl Bickel show up with a political agenda and criticize our sheriff over the incident, while he has no clue what happened as he did not bother to read the report, according to an article in the Aug. 28 News-Post (“Saylor endorses Bickel”). Here again, he is trying to capitalize on the death of a young man. Disgusting and shameful behavior; certainly not what I would expect from a candidate for sheriff.


Gary L. Jenkins


(69) comments

Remember Ethan Saylor

Rarely have I seen such a crass decision by an editorial board than the decision to publish this absurd letter. Ethan Saylor would be alive and well today, had the author's brother trained his hapless thugs - er, deputies, to a) follow well-established LE protocol for dealing with people with developmental disabilities, and b) apply the barest trace - the tiniest smidgen - of common sense.


I am also tired of the blame game... I was 3 seats away and the 1st or 2nd person interviewed by police. I Agree with most of what was said in the article

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So what is it that you don't agree with.

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It is likely the injury to Ethan's throat was accidental but it was not reasonable for two men to believe they could safely drag a nearly 300 pound disabled man out of a theatre seat without risking his life and limb by impacting surrounding seats.

This situation required a four or six person lift to be safer.


We are a nation of rules and laws don't break them and you won't be subjected to lethal force.

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Mr. Saylor's cognitive disability made his culpability to have the intent to commit wanton trespass uncertain. Therefore he had not violated any laws.

Maryland laws have changed and wanton trespass seems to now only apply to government buildings.


Debora290 so...if the mother were present he would be alive? They're were people in the theater. ADULTS watching them crush this young mans throat! The could do NOTHING! Would you have stepped in and tried to protect him? I don't think so. OUT OF FEAR YOU WOULD WATCH AN INNOCENT MAN KILLED. What's going on in America? Are we so afraid that we are blind to our children being murdered? What a morally empty thing to say... If his mother would have been there.


Cops don't kill people non minorities that follow lawful orders.

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Innocent bystanders have been killed who were given no orders. High speed chases kill.


Good citizens accept cops killing unarmed uncooperative people.


I completely agree with the letter writer. The ultimate responsibility lies with the family and the caregiver who was with Saylor that night. The officers were not responsible for his death.


Well you're wrong

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The mother might of had to leave her disabled 26 year old son waiting in the lobby while she was using restroom. Then he might to went back into the theatre before she finished and we would have the same end.

I guess you've never met "I know everything and you know nothing people."


Why the local uproar of a single unarmed uncooperative white man dying in the hands of police this is a frequent occurrence in the black community get over it liberals and keep it moving.


Homicide is what the coroner wrote in the report. Any dispute is ignorant.


tomlacko58 So you wish Ethan would have been submissive and you think he be alive? GOOD THING HIS GRIEVING MOTHER IS MERCIFUL ENOUGH TO EVEN CONSIDER THESE HEARTLESS MEN CAN BE TAUGHT TO BE HUMAN. This "teaching" shouldn't even have to be done! Psych evaluations should be more advanced for people who have so much power! Who kills someone because they don't do what they say? CRAZY PEOPLE! He didn't wield a weapon! They use tranquilizing guns on 400 pound animals to gain control. Police just kill people hands up or not and it's not a crime. If that's the kind of law in.force.ment YOU WANT. Your Welcome! You know how to vote for it...but teach your children, your family... like black mothers do... Keep you head down say only YES AND DO WHATEVER THEY ASK because they can find it as cause to KILL YOU.


dcg326 you must have known Mr Saylor very well!


I think the "off duty officers" should walk in the bathroom and take a good hard look at their faces! Ethan is dead because THEY CRUSHED HIS THROAT OVER A 10 DOLLAR MOVIE TICKET! It doesn't matter I'f he was a homeless orphan from another country running naked through the theater on fire! No training needed to know not to kill him. If you don't know how to handle it... GET SOMEONE WHO DOES! JENKINS HAS HIS HAND ON THE HAMMER THAT KILLED THIS INNOCENT PERSON IN DENYING HE WAS KILLED WITHOUT CAUSE!!!! THE POLICE ARE THE ONES WITH BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS.
ANYONE WHO THINKS DIFFERENT...let it be your child be next. See what you think then.


No matter what you say about the Saylor's There is no excuse for the deputies to shoot an unarmed person.

End of Story


Mrs. Saylor states she wants to bring information and training to law enforcement across the country and a general awareness of those with Downs Syndrome. Excellent. We can all learn from her son's unfortunate death. But I must ask, did she ever take the time to teach her son the importance of following directions from those in authority like police officers, security guards and the like? The Frederick county Sheriff's office makes itself available to the citizens at large through open houses and community events. These events offer the perfect opportunity to introduce your child to Sheriff deputies and reinforce with your child that deputies, police officers and security guards are the good guys. If one is asked to told do something buy one of these people of authority, you do it. Parents of Downs Syndrome and Autistic children-- all children for that matter, need to take the time to do this. I'm sorry Mrs. Saylor lost her son. I wish he would have followed the requests of those in authority around him-- the young lady who took him to the show, the manager and staff at the movie theatre and the security guards who happened to be off duty Sheriff deputies.

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Not only did she do that she introduced the counties deputies to her son so they could be familiar with his needs. Did you read the complaint.

Ethan wasn't fighting he just wasn't moving out the door fast enough for them.


Isn't it time to let Mr. Saylor rest in peace, getting tired of hearing/seeing his name in the media. I've also heard thru the grapevine Mr. Bickel has some skeletons in the closet.


I can't think of a single circumstance under which Mr. Saylor should have died. If the moonlighting deputies could not control him, they could have called 911 for help. Deputies carry tasers which could have been used if necessary. I think this rests squarely on the off-duty deputies, which in turn is more than likely a reflection on Sheriff Jenkins.

FrederickVeteran - this has nothing to do with race.


The Saylor family and friends are discovering what black families experience on daily basis in the US when interacting with police.


Thanks Debtfree.

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The findings of a judge and/or jury will determine the liability is this case not a LTE.


This was a very classless piece of journalism to put in your daily news. It is clear to me that this man is very ignorant, not only in his choice of words but also in his idiotic thoughts. It also really isn't the kind of help that his relative needs to stay in office, especially if his thoughts are the same. Placing the blame on the parent, does not help a thing. Everyone has their own opinions on children and adults with "Super Abilities." Sadly, most of these people with negative opinions are formed from their lack of compassion and knowledge toward " Super Ability " individuals and their families. I would advise anyone who wants to point their finger toward the grieving family, to go to your local social needs, or down syndrome group and get some facts. Even meet some of these "Super Ability " individuals (who have the same rights as any other "typical" individual), and then come to a more informative and educated opinion. It is clear to me that this area needs some new law and community help. I will be praying for your community and for all individuals involved that nothing but good come out of this tragic and unnecessary death of this poor young man. I also hope that people will make better educated, fact based decisions and vote for Karl Nickel, a fresh and fair start for your community. And give justice back to Ethan and his family. From one Down Syndrome Mama to another Mrs. Saylor, in hopes to help your family receive justice and healing.

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If is lawful in Maryland to leave an eight year old child unattended for a short time while you go and get the motor vehicle that is parked too far away for the child to walk. This does not mean the child has been abandoned.


No one should lose their life over the price of a movie ticket.

Sworn police officers of any type should NEVER be employed as private security. It's a position of public trust that should not be available for purchase by private business or individuals.

And before I hear all the boo-hoo's about the "low" salaries (which, by the way, AVERAGE $50K per year) I will remind everyone that they knew the pay scale when they took the job and if they can't live on the money paid to them by the people of Frederick County, they need to seek advice from a financial counselor. 1000s of Frederick County citizens do just fine on less.


This LTE is likely to backfire on Chuck. I would like to know if he was aware of it prior to submission to the FNP and what was his reaction.

Comment deleted.

I was considering voting for Bickel but with so many ultra pukes like whalenworx supporting him I cannot.


Gary, if you would like to discuss my responsibility for my adult son feel free to get in touch with me. It is not necessary to publically blame or shame me. It appears by your letter you have been given misinformation. One important example, I have never placed blame on your brother, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. You would be hard pressed to find evidence to the contrary. All of my efforts have been directed at bringing information and training to law enforcement accross the country and building relationships between law enforcement and community members. I support Karl Bickel for sheriff because he has demonstrated commitment to building relationships between law enforcement and community members with disabilities. He has also shown commitment to providing training for deputies on a wide variety of current issues. As I have said before, disparaging comments about my son or me do little to move Frederick forward on this important issue.


Any parent allowing a dependent to go to a movie theater is negligent. There isn't a softer target in the country than a movie theater and why the need for disproportionate security measures. The demographics of the average movie goer is revealing disproportionate, minority, uneducated, poor and obese. What good is paying off duty cops unwilling to drag a disabled malingering movie goer out a theater?


What a bigoted description of moviegoers you paint. Go to the movies some Saturday night, I think you would find your stereotype far off base.


Leave grieving people alone.
Show some class.


After the hyper-political LTE ("GOP disavows Republicans for Jan Gardner") on Saturday by Cyndi Schaff, chairwoman of the Frederick County Republican Central Committee, I'm absolutely astounded to read on his website that Sheriff Jenkins served seven years on the Frederick County Republican Central Committee, from 1999 to 2006, five of those as the chairman.

Finally, I understand Sheriff Jenkins. He's the most politically motivated sheriff Frederick county has ever had. He's the tea party with a badge.


Gary, your comments are spot-on ...the fault that caused this tragedy belongs to the caregivers who knew their son and his issues best, and they had no business giving off that responsibility to the monitor whom they told to abandon him when the show short-sighted and now that is supposed to be Sheriff Jenkin's fault and why ....except for political gain.....this is a sad story that should NOT be brought into the political arena


With the proper training this would not have happened. Karl Bickel will require his Deputies to be trained to handle these situations. No more Cowboys on the FCSD!


Jenkins defending Jenkins - shocking! Regardless of who is responsible for the escalation that led to this tragedy, no life should be worth the price of a movie ticket.
I suspect that the officers involved needed to rely more on training and less on physical restraint or immediate action. Off duty or not, they, as does any
professional ,represent the office or organization they are employed by. After all, we tell our students that their actions reflect on the school they attend - how is this different?


Your ignorance of this situation, Mr. Jenkins, is shameful.

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Two terms is enough for a governor, a president, and a sheriff.
Vote for Karl Bickel.

An official of the Maryland judiciary which the Sheriff is needs to be responsive to the people and not just say my loyalty to my deputies is what is most important.

SEC. 44. There shall be elected in each county and in Baltimore City one person, resident in said county or City, above the age of twenty-five years and for at least five years preceding his election a citizen of the State, to the office of Sheriff. He shall hold office for four years, until his successor is duly elected and qualified, give such bond, exercise such powers and perform such duties as now are or may hereafter be fixed by law.


Your LTE is digusting and shameful.


Gary,What makes you think anyone who wants your unqualified brother out of office is going to listen to you,LOL!


If Karl Bickel's political agenda is to ensure that law enforcement officers have the proper training to deal with the developmentally disabled I'm all for it. Vote Karl Bickel for Sheriff.

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Business owners can't just take your wallet and take your money, they have to go to civil court to collect debts. These are the conventions of a modern world.

It appears Maryland wanton trespass law now only applies to government buildings. Does Sheriff Jenkins keep his deputies apprised of the changes in law. Law enforcement is a difficult, ever changing job that requires lots of training.

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Has Chuck Jenkins ever read the report, he is after all the current Sheriff of Frederick County.

"I've got a professional, very complete group of professional investigators. I certainly rely on their work, and I hang my hat on them," Jenkins said. "Apparently the grand jury thought it was a very thorough and complete investigation," the sheriff said.

No Chuck, Charlie Smith says the grand jury did their own investigation.

Smith stressed that the grand jury had acted in an investigative function, meaning it did not rely solely on the investigative file from the sheriff's office. The panel heard from all 17 eyewitnesses, including the 18-year-old caretaker, and the three deputies, he said.

But was the grand jury given the options of indicting for negligent homicide or negligent manslaughter. We'll never know because the grand jury is a secretive body that does not toll double jeopardy.

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If Saylor was so out of control why did it only take two deputies to drag a 300 pound man out of a theatre seat.

As many as four sheriff's deputies surrounded Bennett at one point, and two drew their Tasers when Bennett insisted he wanted to fight, reportedly telling the deputies he had been in Afghanistan and was ready to fight.

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Drivers kill by accident. What happens to them.

A Florida man was found guilty of criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter Tuesday for a 2012 crash in which the tractor-trailer he was driving on Green Valley Road overturned onto a pickup, killing two Montgomery County men.


Gary - do you realize that Ethan Saylor did not live with his parents? He had his own apartment.


First the LTE writer says he is tired of hearing all the theories, and then he goes on to repeat one of the theories, based on what he says he read in the FNP. What I read in the FNP was that the deputies prevented the caregiver from calming Ethan and from explaining to them how to propertly deal with him. They also chose not to call his mother for help. I also read in the FNP that the medical examiner ruled that he was murdered. The question for this LTE writer is who murdered him? It surely was not his mother. Clearly everyone had the best of intentions. The problem clearly comes down to the fact that the deputies lacked proper training.


Gary won't blame his brother, of course
for an inopportune use of force
while in Texas, Chuck gloats
on machine guns and boats
and has yet to show any remorse.


Jenkins cannot hide,

from his warmaker pride.


Had a relative with simular problems, we never let him alone , a family matter.We never would have let him alone in public places.


There are many with similar disabilities who are left alone a lot, have jobs, and do quite well.

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Why wasn't the woman who was abandoned at a bar in Tennessee not killed by law enforcement.


You don't even know Ethan, so you don't know who he may have been "similar" to.

And since you think you know Ethan, then I guess you knew that Ethan had his own apartment.


All they had to do was let Mr. Saylor sit there and wait for his Mrs. Saylor to get there to pay for the movie or to take him out peacefully. The caregiver told the Deputies that. The Deputies had no clue how to handle the situation and botched it terribly. They turned a small problem into the death of Mr. Saylor. That is the fault of the FCSO's failure to train the deputies to handle the handicapped in a reasonable way.


What is not generally known is that the genetics of down syndrome often brings a weak hearts that needs careful treatment. More warmakers than peacemakers are hired to be our public safety officers...

A cultural challenge for us.[beam]


I can't call the cops to evict and possibly kill delinquent renters so why can theaters?

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You can but first you have to get an eviction order from a civil court.


He would have been safe by the time an eviction order arrived...[beam]


I'm supporting Rand Paul and taking America back from lying liberal law enforcement and phony republican corporatist puppets. It's amazing to see so many so called Constitutional Christians defending the governments actions in the death of an unarmed developmental disabled man waiting for a ride home. I'm a conservative who doesn't believe corporations should have the ability to encourage law enforcement to take out citizens over civil matters. I can't call the police to evict my delinquent renters so why can the theater use cops to evict a delinquent moviegoer? This isn't about Ethan its about the government and corporations entrenching on our civil rights, wake up sheep.


Supporting Rand Paul? What does he and his self centered Narcissistic philosophy have to do with this or any story? If it was up to Rand everybody is on their own! Social Darwinism is not a Humanitarian value. The corruption of government by corporate fascism is a problem,I agree but Rand Paul is not the answer. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders ARE! "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one." Conservative is synonymous with FEAR!

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Everything DebtFree says is satire.


Perfect FEAR casts out all love...


You have no idea what you are talking about. I suggest you volunteer with disabled ADULTS for a few months then come back and tell us what Patty Saylor should of done.
I am sick of people making excuses for Jenkins failings.


Are saying that all disabled adults act the same way in public?

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Are saying that all nondisabled adults act the same way in public?

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